Many institutions talk about change. Our governments are embroiled in intense discussions about what needs to be different in the future. Business leaders across every industry face a tomorrow that is unlike anything in their past. Non-profit organizations are struggling to find new ways of engaging donors. Across every type of community, leaders and members are struggling to find ways to be effective in the world today. In the midst of the cries for change, much continues as it always has.
I realize that change requires new frameworks for thinking. I understand that past success is no guarantee of we will reach future goals. The reality of failed policies, weak business models, and sloppy work are painfully fresh. Yet, I feel that I am not alone when I find myself wanting to add a “but” to my description. I do not know if I am ready for something different.
History is filled with leaders that resisted change. In one situation, “after Saul had ruled forty years, God [forcefully] removed him from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: ‘I've searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse.’” (Acts 13.21)
Am I so resistant to change that God needs to conduct an intervention. Sadly, recent evidence suggests that it was required in at least one case! There are things that we can do to help realize change.
We can –
acknowledge that change is difficult,
ask others to help us with the change process,
support others without condemnation or judgment,
learn from failures,
and celebrate when change occurs, even if we do not fully agree with the outcome.
I know that we will not embrace change naturally. Change takes commitment. Change requires discipline. Change demands that we walk into the unknown.
I also know that change is possible. It can begin with a small act. We may fail, yet the opportunity to begin again exists in your life and mine. It is in trying that we discover the heart of living. It is a quest that is worth of our best.